Southwest Louisiana: No Place Like Home
With diverse, affordable housing options and abundant community features, it’s easy to plant roots in Southwest Louisiana.
Southwest Louisiana offers many housing options, from master-planned neighborhoods to downtown apartments with a great view. While prices are rising everywhere, things like limitless free entertainment options, short commute times, high-quality public schools and lower-than-average child care can help you get more for your buck – like room for your family to grow.
Amanda Cox, a real estate agent at Latter & Blum Real Estate, thinks Southwest Louisiana is the best possible place to live and luckily, it’s currently a buyer’s market.
“We’ve got so much here: industry, schools, churches, shopping. The people are the friendliest people in the world, and we have so many festivals and great cooking.”
Amanda Cox, a real estate agent at Latter & Blum Real Estate
Cox stands by the idea that Southwest Louisiana is a perfect place to raise a family for reasons including the aforementioned qualities and the fact that most houses are on well-sized lots and typically have sizable yards, too.
“There are very nice-sized yards here. The bigger cities like New Orleans and other metropolitan areas don’t have yards at all,” she says. “But we’ve got good-sized lots for houses, and dog owners or people who like to garden are generally happy. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family – we have many young families that transfer within industries and a lot of military retirees here.”
The fact that the market is currently in the buyer’s favor is a stark contrast to the housing market the world has witnessed over the last few years. Cox says it has been a firm flip and that months of inventory are now available as houses take longer to sell. “We’re starting to see prices stabilize or come down a little,” she says. “But we’re in demand of insurance carriers in the area, so buyers’ big heartbreak is insurance rates being higher. But a lot of people are moving right now to downsize or upsize. It’s incredibly busy.”
Something For Everyone
The region of Southwest Louisiana comprises the five parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu and Jeff Davis, and has around 302,000 residents. The parishes and neighborhoods within them vary in budget and location, meaning there really is a place for everyone and every lifestyle to call home.
Lucinda H. O’Quinn is the vice president of MorganField Development, LLC, which operates as a property management company in Southwest Louisiana and has several different types of housing options, such as custom-built home communities like Waterside’s subdivisions and “empty nest homes” like those at the Village at MorganField.
“We own property that we sell to developers that then develop subdivisions,” she says. “Some are custom homes where landowners buy the lot and build their own homes within certain restrictions. Recently, we sold land to a developer for a gated cottage community, which will be detached rentals right near a local high school.”
The company’s website has an easy-to-use Find Your Home page where prospective buyers can browse different communities and read about their various features and amenities in order to locate and purchase the perfect home for them.
MorganField was formed in 2011 and has also served as the conduit for other projects and developments, like its 2018 donation of 136 acres for the municipal Mallard Golf Course. However, like everyone else in the region, the company felt the devastating effects of the 2020 hurricanes and is working on getting back to functioning as normal.
“We’re picking ourselves up by the bootstraps,” O’Quinn says.
In fact, one of its developments, Belle Savanne in Sulphur, earned an award from the Alliance of Positive Growth for its commitment to “Rebuild and Grow” Southwest Louisiana following natural disasters. It’s just one of many testaments to the community’s resilience and cooperation.
“For the challenges that we’ve got, it’s absolutely worth it,” Cox says. “Southwest Louisiana is the absolute best place in the world to live.”
For seniors ages 55 and up, Southwest Louisiana is an ideal place to live, thanks to advantages like an affordable cost of living, mild climate, the great outdoors, Cajun and Creole food, and five golf courses. The region also has several state-of-the-art retirement communities.
Lake Charles is home to four such communities, including The Villages of Imperial Pointe, which opens in 2023 and will offer amenities for an active healthy lifestyle on its 75-acre, mixed-use, master-planned campus. Another good choice is The Verandah Retirement Community, with independent living options of apartments or cottages that are minutes from parks, restaurants and shopping.
Villa Maria Retirement Center is an independent living facility with studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and amenities include a beauty/barber salon, activity rooms, a chapel and a health/fitness center. The Villas of Lake Charles is a gated apartment community with one- and two-bedroom floor plans, and all units have several amenities, including free high-speed internet.
Jennings is home to the Jeff Davis Living Center, which features both a nursing home and a rehabilitation center, and many of the caring staff members have been at Jeff Davis for 20+ years. And in Sulphur, Sulphur Retirement Community is an affordable apartment community for moderate to low-income seniors and is near restaurants, shopping centers, churches and West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.
Kevin Litwin contributed to this article.
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